The Bulldog football players know as well as anyone that if they lose tonight's game, their season and playoff hopes are gone.
Coach Kip Hafey knows that today is going to mark a crucial point in the continuation or wrap-up of the season.
"We need to get on a winning streak here to get into the playoffs," Hafey said. "And hopefully that happens, and we get a big win."
Moffat County is squaring off against Montezuma-Cortez, a team that has not won a league game this season.
The Panthers are 0-6 in Western Slope League play and 1-7 overall, but coach Tom Adair has faith that his team can find the win that has eluded it deep into the season.
"We've had some really good things happen to us," Adair said. "We just haven't been consistent."
One of the biggest issues Adair said has plagued his team is that it continues to make mental mistakes.
"Penalties, dropped balls and turnovers have hurt us," Adair said.
But Adair has been happy that his players' attitudes have continued to be positive.
"My kids have excellent attitudes, and they work hard," Adair said. "They know that it's not about making excuses, and that they need to go out and focus on the next opponent."
That next opponent is Moffat County.
The Bulldogs have a few edges over Montezuma, but when it comes down to game time, Hafey and the rest of the team know anything can happen.
Adair said size could play a factor in tonight's game. He said the Panthers are not as big as the Bulldogs.
Hafey countered that concern with one of his own.
"We have the size, and they have the speed," Hafey said. "It's kind of a catch-22."
With playoff hopes on the line for the Bulldogs, they will need to build on last week.
"For us, it's just another week and another do-or-die, so we better show up," Hafey said, "or the season is going to be cut short."
The Panthers run a spread offense, which Hafey said is a benefit to the Bulldogs.
"This is the third week in a row we've seen this offense," Hafey said.
The advantage for the Bulldogs may be slim, but it is an advantage, and they are hoping to hold on to it as long as they can.
"Hopefully we'll be able to take those advantages and turn them over into a win," Hafey said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Moffat County High School.
Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.